Uber narrows losses but growth slows

Uber narrows losses but growth slows

Uber Logo BlackBoss Dara Khosrowshahi was brought in last year to revive Uber’s image

Uber narrowed its losses in the second quarter but remains a long way from turning a profit, according to company results published on Wednesday.

The ride-hailing firm reported an $891m (£702m) net loss for the three months to 30 June, compared with a $1.1bn loss a year ago.

Revenue growth slowed and the firm continues to face regulatory scrutiny in key markets such as New York.

It is under pressure to become more profitable for a planned IPO next year.

According to the US firm, net revenue, which strips out what gets paid to drivers, was $2.7bn in the quarter.

That is up by more than 50% since last year but a slowdown from the 67% seen in the first quarter.

The firm also made $12bn in quarterly gross bookings, which includes both rides and its food-delivery service, Uber Eats, up 40% from a year before. First-quarter growth totalled 55%, however.

Uber has retreated from major markets China, Southeast Asia and Russia over the last year after failing to fend off local competitors.

But it said it was still committed to India and the Middle East, despite pressure from some investors to quit those markets too.

Boss Dara Khosrowshahi said it was also investing heavily in “big bets” outside its core ride-hailing business, such as Uber Eats and electric bikes and scooters.

Mr Khosrowshahi was brought in last year to revive Uber’s image after a damaging sexual harassment scandal engulfed the firm.

But the company still has a number of costly legal battles, including over its classification of drivers as independent contractors, and federal inquiries to resolve.

Regulatory pressure also threatens to hinder growth in major markets.

Last week New York voted to impose a temporary cap on new licences for ride-hailing vehicles to tackle congestion. And Mayor of London Sadiq Khan on Wednesday said he would seek similar restrictions in the UK’s capital.

David Brophy, professor of finance at the University of Michigan, told Reuters news agency the firm could expect to see its valuation slashed in a public listing if it did not show more progress towards becoming profitable.

The ride-hailing giant was most recently valued at $72bn, making it one of the most valuable privately held firms in the world.

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